Most patients have only mild to moderate discomfort after the procedure. In fact, many require only over the counter Tylenol. Swelling is generally very modest, and is reduced by a dressing placed on the day of surgery that is then removed the following day. You will be seen the day after surgery, and sutures are removed as early as five days after surgery.
You may resume light activities (such as office work) a week after surgery. There may be residual swelling and some sutures that still need to be removed at that time. However, most such sutures are difficult to see, as they are well hidden. If you have bruising, it may be covered with makeup or clothing (turtlenecks, scarves) at this time.
You should avoid strenuous activity, such as heavy lifting, running, etc., in the first week to two weeks after your facelift. Moderate physical activities may be performed after two weeks, and nearly all usual daily activities can be resumed after three weeks.